Congrats on your pregnancy! What an exciting time for you and your family. Now is the time you are probably chit chatting with your gal pals about your due date, how you plan to decorate your nursery, and all the other things we all talk about during pregnancy. I bet finances are not even close to the forefront of your mind as you buy the 15th adorable newborn onesie you found at Target (don’t worry, been there). Well, friend, let me be the cog in the wheel and inform you that growing your family WILL have a massive impact on your budget – no matter what your income looks like. Yeah yeah, you are thinking, “duh. Obviously this is the case.” It certainly is, friend. Here are a few big changes that I noticed that I was not expecting (or simply ignored until it slapped me in the face):
Child care: Planning to go back to work? Expect quality child care to take up a huge portion of your paycheck. Not going back to work (you go girl!) – this takes a hit on the front end with loss of income.
Diapers/diaper supplies: Yes, babies require A LOT of diapers. Unless you plan to go the cloth diaper route, this gets expensive. Not only that, it might take some experimenting for you to find the best diaper and diapering products for your baby. Some babies have allergies to certain diapers/products (like mine).
Medical Expenses: This, of course, depends on your medical coverage and many other factors (i.e., type of birth, number of nights stay, baby needs). Both my kids had jaundice and required phototherapy. Thankfully my insurance covered most of this, but had it not, this would have been an $800+ out of pocket charge.
These are just a few examples of costs associated with having baby. As you are well aware, there are many many many more. Thankfully there are a lot of products out there that can assist you in planning. If you do not have a budget created, that is an excellent first step. While you are in your planning stages of pregnancy, take some time and sit down with your partner to figure out where your finances are at. There are a million budgeting tools out there, just Google it. Once you have that budget established, begin to think about what adjustments will be necessary to accommodate your new bundle of joy. Believe me, by taking some budgeting steps, it will help you ease your mind in the long run and I promise, reduce future arguments with your partner.
Just getting started? Here are some tools that can help you on your way!
Building a Budget – NerdWallet provides tools to guide you through creating a budget
Mint.com – an oldie but a goodie; people use this app to track their spending and create a budget
Good ol’ Excel – Microsoft Excel (and Google sheets) has some decent budgeting templates
There are about million different apps and ways to budget. These are just a few that I have used in the past. It really just depends on your style and unique needs. Best of luck and happy tracking!